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Air Products Launches World-Scale Industrial Gas Complex in Kochi

| Editor: Ahlam Rais

World-scale industrial gas complex in Kochi houses a technologically-advanced HyCO plant, enables BPCL to increase refining capacity for producing cleaner fuels.
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World-scale industrial gas complex in Kochi houses a technologically-advanced HyCO plant, enables BPCL to increase refining capacity for producing cleaner fuels. (Source: Air Products and Chemicals)

The Kochi Industrial Gas Complex which has been constructed within BPCL’s Integrated Refinery Expansion Project aims to increase the firm’s refining capacity by nearly two-thirds, from 190,000 to 310,000 barrels per day.

Pennsylvania/USA – Air Products has recently announced that it has inaugurated its new world-scale industrial gas complex within the Integrated Refinery Expansion Project (IREP) of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) Kochi Refinery located in Kochi, India. The new facility was inaugurated by Dr. K.T. Jaleel, Minister for Local Self-Governments, Kerala, in the presence of P. Thilothaman, Minister for Food & Civil Supplies, Kerala; Dr. Samir J. Serhan, executive vice president for Air Products, Richard Boocock, president, Industrial Gases – Middle East, India, Egypt and Turkey for Air Products; and other dignitaries and guests.

The firm has invested several hundred million dollars for the build-own-operate (BOO) project, the largest of its kind in India in terms of investment. Air Products’ Kochi Industrial Gas Complex, which generates hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and steam, is an invaluable constituent of BPCL’s IREP to manufacture auto-fuels complying with Euro-IV/Euro-V specifications. The industrial gases manufactured at the complex also enable BPCL to increase refining capacity by nearly two-thirds, from 190,000 to 310,000 barrels per day, while producing cleaner fuels through upgraded fuel specification.

An Air Products team located across four countries, including India, the U.K., the Netherlands, and the U.S., worked on the Kochi project, built on more than 15 acres of land leased from BPCL. The technologically-advanced plant is built using Air Products’ proprietary technology and has been incorporated with state-of-the-art safety features which also deliver reliability and environmental performance.

A unique highlight of the plant is that the gas turbine is integrated into the design of the twin steam methane reformers. These are the first-ever twin steam methane reformers designed and built by Air Products with a combined capacity of 16.4 tonnes per hour of hydrogen production.

BPCL states that the commissioning of the IREP in 2017 has made BPCL Kochi Refinery the largest Public Sector refinery in the country and enabled it to manufacture auto-fuels complying with the required Bharat Stage IV (Euro IV) specifications and a greater depth of conversion. The firm also claims that IREP is one of the largest investments Kerala has ever witnessed. With the increased capacity of 15.5 million tonnes, the Kochi Refinery will transform itself into a most modern industrial complex having global standards.

BPCL and Air Products are looking forward to the commissioning of a second project at Kochi, as the two companies signed a long-term agreement in January 2018 to build, own and operate a new syngas production facility. The syngas facility will be located alongside the current BOO project and will supply BPCL’s new Propylene Derivates Petrochemical Project (PDPP).

The unit will employ Air Products’ proprietary cryogenic gas separation technologies to produce syngas. The PDPP enables BPCL to enter the Indian petrochemical market and enhance the value obtained from its refining operations.

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